As I gently pushed the bedroom door ajar and slid into Thing 3's bedroom to check on her for the umpteenth million time yesterday afternoon, she finally peeked her fuzzy little disheveled head over her crib rails. I'd had a bad feeling all afternoon, as my little sick baby napped for over five hours for the fifth day in a row. That kind of "this can't be good at all" feeling that a mother occasionally gets when things are, indeed, not good at all.
I gently laid her poor, limp body on her change table only to open her diaper and find a dirty little surprise had made it's appearance during her marathon sleep session. It was nasty enough for me to scoop her up and take her to the bathroom for a nice, warm bath.
Mommy-worry struck me like a slap in the face.
She looked awful. Lethargic, listless, and completely "out-of-it". I prayed the bath would rejuvenate my little girl and bring some zest back to those piercing blue eyes.
Not the case.
Her fussiness increased after her bath and even after I nursed her she proved to be agitated and unhappy. As supper time was approaching, I placed her in her high chair to give her a snack while I put together the final preparations for our dinner. She instantly fell asleep. Mommy-worry plagued me once again as the sense that "none of this seems right" began to overwhelm me. My thought processes were clouded. Realizing I hadn't taken her temperature since before her nap, I ran to grab our thermometer and bring it back to the kitchen.
The first reading was 41.6 degrees Celsius. Not a metric lover? That's 106.8 degrees Fahrenheit!! Several more readings showed marginally lower temps than that, although each them ranked in the very dangerous category. I called my mother-in-law (who was a nurse for years and years and also a midwife) and she arrived on our doorstep in minutes. Her diagnoses was not good, and for the second time in four days, I bundled up my precious little girl and hauled her to the hospital.
The silver lining?
When your kid is that sick, you don't have to wait in the waiting room in Emergency. The kind and compassionate triage nurse will make a call and you will hear "Level Two baby at Triage" over the loudspeaker and soon two nurses will come and whisk you and the child away. We were instantly sent to an observation area where we had our own bed and several nurses and doctors working on us.
I am included in the "us" part of this because it is the mother's responsibility to pin the baby down so that the nurses can carry out some of the more unpleasant medical procedures. It is also up to mommy to administer all doses of medication and to hold the mask to the child's mouth when she is receiving oxygen and breathing treatments.
After several hours of observation, breathing treatments, and successfully reducing Thing 3's fever, we were permitted to go home for the night. Exhausted. Mentally and physically depleted. With no more energy than a tiny, squished up ant on hot, sizzling pavement.
Her diagnosis was pneumonia or bronchitis - her doctor said it was hard to tell from her x-ray and they didn't want to run any more tests on her (the x-ray they looked at was the one she had taken when I took her in on Sunday night). We were able to keep her fever down today, and overall she is brighter, more alert, and coming close to resembling her perfectly regular little self.
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